Prep Baseball Report

2020 MIAA A Conference Season Preview

Kyle Campbell
Maryland Scouting Director


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With the 2020 Maryland High School baseball season just underway and games right around the corner, we begin to close out our complete preseason coverage with a look at every conference throughout that state. We will break down each conference with a preview of teams expected to contend as well as key players from across the league that you won't want to miss play. 

Note: A preseason questionnaire was sent out to all Maryland high school baseball coaches in Mid-January to gain pertinent information for this piece but not all forms were completed and returned. Below is a compilation of information received as well as thoughts from our staff at PBR Maryland.


MIAA "A" Conference

Archbishop Curley Friars
Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers
Calvert Hall Cardinals
Gilman Greyhounds
John Carroll Patriots
Loyola-Blakefield Dons
McDonogh Eagles
Mount St. Joseph Gaels
St. Mary's Saints


2019 Recap

Calvert Hall ripped through the MIAA "A" Conference last season going 16-2 in the regular season. The Cardinals followed that up by rolling through the conference playoffs en route to their 11th title in school history and first since 2013 defeating Gilman 4-2 at Harford CC. Pete Marchineck (Towson), Jose Torres (North Carolina State), and Parker Landwehr (Boston College) led the way on the mound and at the plate for the Cardinals in 2019. Gilman and Loyola-Blakefield both finished the regular season 13-5 in conference and were both alive late in the week with Gilman eventually outlasting everyone to make it to the championship game. First year head coach Phil Kraska led the Gaels to a third place finish in the conference playoffs behind the strong right arm of John Torroella (Brown) and catcher Justin Looney (Longwood) at the plate. Archbishop Spalding entered the 2019 season #1 in our Preseason Power 25 but struggled to find their footing all season long, limping into the playoffs as the number five seed before going two and out. Maybe the biggest surprise in 2019 was the re-emergence of McDonogh. Head Coach Matt Tuneski led the Eagles to their first appearance in the conference playoffs in quite a while as the number 6 seed behind lefty Matt Spind and a very talented younger core of players. John Carroll and Archbishop Curley were around late in the regular season still vying for the last seed but came up short in the end and St. Mary's struggled to find conference wins finishing 3-15 but look headed in the right direction with another full year under their belt re-building with a younger squad. 

2020 Preseason All-MIAA

(in alphabetical order)

Player Name School Commitment
Antonio Barranca  Calvert Hall  Gulf Coast State (FL) 
Nate Beal  Loyola Blakefield  Pennsylvania 
Casey Bishop  Gilman  Towson 
Everett Cooper  McDonogh  Alabama 
Dom Dinoto  Loyola Blakefield  Army 
Gavin Evans  Archbishop Curley  James Madison 
Sean Fasano  John Carroll  Delgado CC (LA) 
Peter Heubeck  Gilman  Wake Forest 
Alex Khan  Calvert Hall  West Virginia 
Lamar King  Calvert Hall  East Carolina 
Tyler Leach  John Carroll  High Point 
Matt Leikus  Gilman  James Madison 
Jake Michel  Archbishop Curley  Richmond 
Josh Moylan  Archbishop Spalding  East Carolina 
Noah Mrotek  Archbishop Spalding  Maryland 
Joe Radek  McDonogh  Swarthmore 
Andrew Rickard  Archbishop Curley  Randolph-Macon 
Stephen Schenning  Loyola Blakefield  Mount St. Mary's 
Logan Scully  St. Mary's  George Mason
Ryan Williamson Gilman St. Bonaventure



2020 Team Previews


Archbishop Curley Friars

Joe Gaeta enters his first season at the helm following Brooks Norris’ departure at the end of the 2019 season. Gaeta spent the last three years as an assistant coach and will now look to lead the Friars back into contention in the MIAA “A” Conference following a 6-14 finish last season. This year’s squad returns four starters from a year ago and three key arms on the mound but also will feel the loss of one of the best players in the conference and state last year in Tyler Locklear (VCU). Locklear hit an astonishing .500 for the Friars in 2019 and sluggled .842 with six home runs and 24 RBI’s. Returning to lead the way at the plate this year are Gavin Evans (James Madison), Travis Nale (Stevenson), Trent Williams (Caldwell), Jake Michel (Richmond), and Andrew Rickard (Randolph Macon). Look for top newcomers Ryan Torres, Matt Sappington, and Tony Smith to also play key roles in the lineup as the season progresses. Michel and Nale will also anchor a staff that includes fellow returner Justin Mentzell and top newcomer Ryan Edmonds.


Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

The Cavaliers enter the 2020 season looking to avenge a disappointing two-and-out finish in the MIAA “A” Conference playoffs a season ago with seven returning starters and five key arms back. On the mound, senior Nate Vermillion (Frostburg State) and Noah Mrotek (Maryland) will be looked upon as the team's co-aces with Ethan McCormick (Liberty), Caleb Estes (Maryland), Nick Botsaris (Frostburg State), and Nick Schepens (SUNY Maritime) filling in as needed. Senior draft prospect Josh Moylan (East Carolina) headlines an offense that has the potential to be special with several big bats returning. Thomas Joseph, Tyler Hargus (Susquehanna), Ben Wieman, and Vermillion will be tasked with protecting Moylan in the middle of the lineup while McCormick and Estes look to get on in front of them. Look for top newcomers John Carroll and Eddie Sargent to add depth throughout the year on the mound and see some time also in the lineup alongside sophomore outfielder Kyle Garrett. Sophomore Beau Haslinger and freshman Parker Thomas have a lot of upside on the mound and could also play a critical role in Spalding's success in 2020.


Calvert Hall Cardinals

Calvert Hall ripped through the MIAA "A" Conference a season ago finishing the regular season with a 16-2 conference record and marched through the playoffs unbeaten defeating Gilman 4-2 to win their 11th title in school history and first since 2013. With Jose Torres (North Carolina State), Parker Landwehr (Boston College), table-setter Garrett Mcilhenney (Misericordia), and ace lefty Pete Marchineck (Towson) gone from last year’s championship team, the Cardinals will need some younger talent to take the next step if they hope to repeat. Key power bats returning in the middle of the lineup this season include Antonio Barranca (Gulf Coast CC), Nick Tamberino (Washington College), Lamar King (East Carolina) and Alex Khan (West Virginia). Sophomore Chase Davalli, Sami Khan (Potomac State), and Scott Borgmann figure to play key roles in the lineup as well looking to get on base in front of them. Look for juniors Owen Liberto, Raymond Infussi, Kyle Matheny, Andrew Wells, Mike Wineke, and sophomores John Harris and Steven Mufareh to crack the lineup throughout the year adding depth to what looks on paper to be a solid one through nine. On the mound, Borgmann and A. Khan return as two key arms for the Cardinals with Tyler Brown (Wilson), and Tyler Wright also figuring to make a major impact.


Gilman Greyhounds

The Greyhounds enter the 2020 season eager to make it back to the MIAA "A" Conference championship where they fell just short of claiming the title in 2019 losing to Calvert Hall. This year's depth on the mound is impressive and figures to give them a realistic chance to win every night out. 2021 RHP Peter Heubeck (Wake Forest) headlines a staff that includes four other college commits in 2021 RHP Matt Leikus (James Madison), 2020 LHP Jackson Tacka (Navy), 2020 LHP Danny Rosenfield (Davidson) and 2020 LHP Tripp Myers (John’s Hopkins). Also figuring to add depth throughout the season for 11th year skipper Larry Sheets are senior Ryan Williamson (St. Bonaventure), and juniors Owen Holmgren and Lucas Matanguihan. At the plate, Gilman returns eight players that saw significant time in the lineup a season ago. Seniors Michael Mallas (Lafayette), Jackson McCambridge, Gabe Gonzales, Williamson, Myers and juniors Casey Bishop (Towson), Ryan Martinez, and Trevor Weiner will look to lead the way with Pierce Bennett (Wake Forest) and Tyler Martinez (San Francisco) both gone. If the pitching stays healthy and lives up to expectations; this year's lineup is experienced and versatile enough to find ways to score runs and win close ball games.


John Carroll Patriots

John Carroll just missed out on qualifying for the MIAA "A" Conference playoffs in 2019 finishing in 7th place during the regular season. 4th year head coach Darrion Siler and the Patriots lose quite a bit from last year yet still return a very talented, older, and experienced group in 2020. Offensively, John Carroll figures to have one of the strongest lineups in the MIAA with their main question being on the mound. Offensively, table setters Sean Fasano (Delgado CC), and Cody Kurek will look to get on in front of some really big bats in the middle of the lineup. Senior High Point University commit Tyler Leach headlines a group in the middle of the lineup that includes Charlie Hafer (West Virginia Wesleyan), Aidan Ruiz (Cal U. PA), and Gavin Wingard (Cal U. PA). Losing Tyler Blittersdorf (Harford CC) will hurt but the Patriots look to be deep enough with their lineup to contend for a spot this year in the playoffs. On the mound the question becomes who will step up and keep them in ball games as pitching tended to be a bit of a struggle last season as well. Seniors Sam Hogue (West Virginia Wesleyan), Evan Exter, and Ruiz return on the bump with a pair of sophomores in Matt Archibald and Ben Pierce really looking to be the difference makers. Both sophomores figure to be aces in the future and their early development at the varsity level this season figures to be the key on the mound. Archibald will also see time in the field with the potential to be another big bat in the lineup. Altogether John Carroll looks versatile at the plate and if Hogue, Exter and Ruiz can step up as leaders on the mound until the younger guys get some experience, the Patriots should find themselves competing for a spot in the MIAA 'A" Conference playoffs by season's end.


Loyola-Blakefield Dons

Loyola finished third in the regular season last year with a 13-5 conference record and showed resiliency in the playoffs following an opening game loss to McDonogh. The Dons bounced back with wins over Archbishop Spalding and McDonogh on back-to-back days before eventually falling to Mount St. Joe 1-0 two days later. This year's team will need that same determination, grit, and work ethic if they hope to contend for the MIAA "A" Conference Championship with several key pieces having graduated off of last year's team. On the mound, senior Nate Beal (University of Pennsylvania) figures to slide into the number one spot in the rotation with Matthew Wyatt off to the University of Virginia. 4th year head coach Mike Kelly will also look to juniors Stephen Schenning (Mount St. Mary's) and Mikey Jeson to step up and fill other spots in a rotation that also sees Austin Mummaw gone as well. Beal, Schenning, and Jensen are a strong trio of starters that should give the Dons a shot to win on a nightly basis. Juniors Jack Belbot and Chris Lopez figure to also really make an impact on the staff throughout the season as both have shown significant development since last year. At the plate, Loyola will be without the power hitting presence of Emmett Reynolds in the middle of the lineup and will also need to replace the production lost from Owen Reynolds and Jeffrey Snider. Senior shortstop Dominic Dinoto (Army) is a game changer and he alongside fellow senior returners Danny Sheeler (Washington College), Sean Kelly, and Tommy Rogers will look to lead the Dons lineup in 2020. Look for junior Mason Burke, super sophomore OF Joshua Braxton and top newcomers Belbot and Ryan Wright to not only make things happen offensively but to also play key roles defensively in the field.


McDonogh Eagles

McDonogh surprised a lot of people in last season by reaching the MIAA "A" Conference playoffs for the first time in quite a few years. The Eagles would win their opener over Loyola Blakefield on the road before falling to Gilman and Loyola thus finishing in 5th place. 2019 was a huge turnaround season for 4th year head coach Matt Tuneski and the Eagles who will look to build on that success in 2020. While the departure of ace Matt Spind (Bates College) will be tough to overcome (5-1 with a 2.21 ERA), McDonogh does return five solid arms. Seniors Kris Jenner, Kyle Whitaker (NJIT), and junior Evan Marcinko will anchor the staff in 2020 with talented sophomores Jack Bussard, Austin Gemmill and top newcomer Sam Kinney figuring to add depth and become impact arms at some point. Offensively the Eagles will be paced by star sophomore shortstop Everett Cooper (Alabama) and the power hitting presence of Joe Radek (Swarthmore), Brian Nevin (St. Olaf), and Whitaker in the middle of the order. Look for senior catcher Blake Caplan to also evolve into a key piece offensively this season. McDonogh won't surprise anyone this year with the talent they have returning but they will need some younger players to step up as they navigate a tough MIAA Conference schedule. Expect the Eagles to make some noise again and to be in contention at the end of the season for another berth in the playoffs.


Mount St. Joseph Gaels

Mount St. Joseph experienced a huge turnaround in 2019 under first year head coach Phil Kraska. The Gael alum led them to a 20-10 record and third place finish in the conference playoffs. This year’s squad will look to build off of last year’s success with several returners back but it won’t be easy as the Gael’s lose arguably one of the top arms in the state from a year ago in John Torroella (Brown). Torroella was a lights out on the mound last year going 5-3 with two saves striking out 84 in 55.2 innings pitched to the tune of a 0.84 ERA. Looking to fill the void left behind by Torroella on the mound are a trio of returners beginning with senior Presbyterian commit Matthew McManus. Fellow seniors Ryan Mills and Andrew Gray also figure to make a major impact in the rotation throughout the year. At the plate, a solid group of juniors look to lead the way with first baseman Travis Leatherwood, outfielder/infielder Ethan Grieb, catcher Mike Sweeney, and outfielder/catcher Josh Lantz. Smooth fielding sophomore shortstop Ripken Reese also returns and is expected to be a critical piece to the lineup that loses most notably Justin Looney (Longwood) Brad Kenjorski, and Mike Rosen. Look for versatile sophomore Zach Wainio give the Gaels a boost both in the field and at the plate as well.


St. Mary's Saints

Head coach Matt Bronakoski returns a balanced lineup in 2020 with eight players who saw time in the starting lineup back. Seniors Dhane Blair (Frostburg State), Sam Daniels, junior Logan Scully (Geroge Mason), and sophomores Jon Madden and Damion Kenealy headline the group of returners with McCormick Buchner (Rider), Mike Coit, and Andrew Hoyt also figuring to play key roles. On the bump, the Saints lose two big arms in Brock Goodwin (Monmouth) and Andy Hood (Salisbury) but return Daniels, Buchner, and Luke Bessette as anchors of the staff. Sophomore Ryan Merkel’s versatility could also play a key role this season with his ability to help out both on the mound, at the plate, and in the field. With some solid starts and a lineup that has speed and power, expect to see St. Mary’s improve upon their 4-17 mark a season ago. 


2020 Analysis

While Archbishop Spalding, Calvert Hall, and Gilman look to be the favorites heading into the year, it really looks to be another very competitive season with several others having a realistic opportunity to catch fire and win the title. Spalding's and Calvert Hall's depth in the lineup and Gilman's embarrassment of riches on the mound look to be what separates them from the pack over the course of the regular season. As we all know though, anything can happen come playoff time and that's where the fun really begins. John Carroll, Loyola-Blakefield, and McDonogh look to be in that second tier; strong enough to hold their own throughout the regular season grind and see themselves as one of the top six seeds in the end qualifying for the postseason double-elimination tournament. Don't count out the other three however as Archbishop Curley, Mount St. Joseph, and St. Mary's each field strong enough teams top to bottom to knock off anyone on any given night. That's what makes this conference so exciting!


2020 Predictions 

When it's all said and done, and the rubber pellets stop flying at Harford CC later this Spring; here is how we see it shaking out.

1. Gilman
2. Archbishop Spalding
3. Calvert Hall
4. Loyola-Blakefield
5. John Carroll
6. McDonogh
7. Mount St. Joseph
8. Archbishop Curley
9. St. Mary's 

* Player of the Year: Josh Moylan 1B 2020 (East Carolina)
* Pitcher of the Year: Peter Heubeck RHP 2021 (Wake Forest)